17 January 2015 | MartinHafer
The idea of the film is excellent--the execution is pretty terrible.
Frank De Felitta
Back in the mid-1960s, during the height of racial tensions in the US South, Frank De Felitta made a documentary in which locals were interviewed. For the most part, black people were afraid and said little to argue with the local party line--that blacks and whites love each other and that everyone LOVES the status quo. However, one of the blacks folks they interviewed was famous for his ingratiating ways around white customers but he'd had enough. Mr. Booker told what he REALLY thought--and as a result, he soon ended up in the hospital and his life was ruined.
Doing a film where they talk about Booker's story is a great idea-- even if it is basically just rehashing the old documentary. Putting it in context with the civil rights movement, the KKK and the like COULD have made for a wonderful film. Instead, however, the film was horribly made. Too often the subject matter deviated very far from the original film. Or, even worse, they simply kept restating the same things again and again and again. It also was extremely disjoint, overlong and just sloppy. The bottom line is that there have been a lot of wonderful films about this sort of subject matter (especially many of the episodes of the PBS series "American Experience"). Booker and his story would have been a great inclusion into a much larger and more coherent film.